10 candidate file for WJ mayor position
This fall, West Jordan voters will elect the city’s first full-time mayor. They will also vote to fill two at-large city council positions. In the mayoral race, 10 candidates filed prior to the June 7 deadline.
Mayor Melissa Johnson, who has served as the city’s elected leader since 2010, did not file for re-election.
“I [anticipated] a large number of mayoral candidates because the incumbent has announced she wouldn’t be running,” City Manager Rick Davis said.
By the end of the declaration period, 10 West Jordan residents had filed their intent to seek election in the race for mayor– the largest number of candidates for any municipal mayor’s race in the state this year.
Candidates for West Jordan mayor are, listed alphabetically, Daniel Argueta, Dirk Burton, Jeff Ertel, Mike Kellermeyer, Clive Killpack, M. Rory Munns, Sophie Rice, Kim Rolfe, Ben Southworth and Mellissa Worthen.
Running for at-large city council are Jared Belcher, Michel Erdmann, Nathan Gedge, Isaac Giron, Jeff Haaga, Eric Hanna, Zach Jacob, Timothy McConnehey, Dixie Memmot, Chad Nichols (I) and Gregory Simonsen.
“I’m very happy that there are so many people interested in serving the City of West Jordan both as mayor and city council members,” Johnson said.
She said she was pleased to see so many names she recognized, and even more excited about the ones she didn’t already know.
“That is the best news I had with the results of those who declared for candidacy. This is the first time they are getting involved in public service, and that’s exciting” Johnson said.
Successful candidates will serve for a term of four years.
This year, there is also a change in how the voting will be accomplished. In March, the mayor and council decided to conduct a city-wide vote-by-mail for the 2013 Municipal Elections.
“[This] means that every registered voter in West Jordan – there’s approximately 42,000 registered voters -will receive a ballot in the mail,” City Clerk Melanie Briggs said.
Voting packets for the Aug. 13 primary elections will be mailed to registered voters July 8. Each packet will include a ballot, voting instructions and a postage-paid return envelope.
“Once a person votes on that ballot, they can mail it in, drop it off at a ballot box location, drop it off with the city clerk, take it to the Salt Lake County Elections Division, or take it on Election Day to one of two voting centers,” Briggs said.
Voters who prefer to cast their ballot using a more traditional method can visit either the Bingham Creek Library or the West Jordan Library between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Election Day. Individuals choosing to do this must bring their un-voted, un-signed ballot and return envelope with them to the voting center.
City leaders chose to test the all vote-by-mail system in the hopes of increasing voter turn-out.
“A lot of people in our community don’t vote, not because they don’t care but because it’s such a small window,” Johnson said. “The vote-by-mail will allow greater flexibility in turning in that ballot.”